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Listening: The Best Gift You Can Give

September 27th, 2017
Listening: The Best Gift You Can Give
"One of the most sincere forms of respect is
actually listening to what another has to say."
—Bryant H. McGill
I knew I needed help with my listening skills, so I picked up a book called "The Lost Art of Listening" by Michael P. Nichols, PhD.

Dr. Nichols says, "Listening is so basic that we take it for granted. Unfortunately, most of us think of ourselves as better listeners than we really are."

Listening is key to connecting, understanding and knowing another person.

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Why is so hard to listen to others; to be totally engaged while another person speaks?

This is especially true:

• If we don’t agree with what they are saying.

• If their words make us angry.

• If they are taking lots of time to say it.

Listening requires true patience and unselfishness, which can be lacking in the best of us :)

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Experts agree that good listening makes all the difference between poor communication and healthy conversation.

We all like people to listen to us, right? When others truly listen, it says, "I value you."

With that in mind, here are some great listening tips:

• Watch your body language. When you focus on the talker and look at someone’s eyes, it shows that you want to listen.

• Cut out distractions. Don’t squirm, roll eyes, tap fingers or look at the phone while someone is speaking.

(What if your little boy wants to tell you the (lengthy) dream that he had last night? It's okay to say, "Can you wait a few minutes? There's a fire starting on the cooker!" or..."Why don't we sit down and write this out later? Then you can have it forever!")

• Let the talker have his or her turn. Resist the strong temptation to jump in with a similar story or disagreement. There will be time for your side later.

• Ask thoughtful questions to make sure you understand his or her point of view.

Finally, here are some inspiring quotes about listening:

• There is a difference between listening and waiting for your turn to speak.
—Simon Sinek

• Wisdom is the reward you get for a lifetime of listening when you'd have preferred to
—Doug Larson

• You can't fake listening. It shows.
—Raquel Welch

Add your own favourite quote below, or let us know what YOU think. (We’re here to listen!)

Lisa x

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